Photo by Logan Stapleton
By Lorena Grajales, Editor-in-Chief—
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga announced on March 16 that the University Health Services is preparing to administer the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines for all students, faculty and staff, as soon as those become available, to combat the spread of the ongoing Coronavirus.
Those interested in receiving a dose of the vaccine must also meet eligibility requirements, enforced by the Hamilton County Health Department. An in-depth, 12-part questionnaire is available for students to check if they meet the required criteria. According to a statement from UTC’s Chief Affairs Officer and Director of the School of Nursing, Dr. Chris Smith, the university is expected to receive vaccines as immediate as this week.
Individuals associated with the university who make part of Phase 1a1, 1a2, 1b, 1C or fall into the age-based phase, will be offered to receive the vaccine on campus. Smith said she encourages every individual on campus to receive a dose once available, due to the vitality of the vaccines as a resource on UTC grounds.
“We are happy to be able to offer this service to our campus community,” stated Smith. “As a public health concern, and members of the medical community, the Staff at UHS does encourage everyone to get it. The way we can get out of this pandemic is to use all the tools we have to manage this pandemic and immunization is one of those”
UTC students and employees who live out-of-state will also be considered eligible if they meet the official requisites. Appointments will be accessible as vaccines are acquired.
The University has additionally introduced a “No Waste List” plan for students, faculty and staff who do not fall under the eligibility phases. Those on this waitlist will receive the vaccine if conditions allow for remaining doses at the end of the day, at the vaccination clinic.
Those who sign up for this list will need to be available to present themselves into the clinic at the time they are called or will face losing their place in line. Besides a UTC ID, no other documentation will be needed to check-in.
Although the university can request a certain number of vaccines, the state of Tennessee decides the number received by the university, along with the specific manufacturer.
UTC has not mandated the Covid-19 vaccine, but the mask mandate and routine testing continue to stabilize the risk of cases on campus. Smith advised anyone with lingering concerns regarding the vaccines, to stay up-to-date with science-based informational guides.
“…please read evidence based articles and websites such as the CDC which are based in science and make an educated decision,” she said.
For questions, concerns or more information, visit the University Health Services Website.